Aponym Interview: “Pure animalistic energy.”

Deus Incognitus is out now.

Deus Incognitus, the debut EP from Cork based instrumental prog metal outfit Aponym, is a fierce weapon. A swirling and hypnotic affair involving intricate riffs, cathartic and soaring passages, and, at times, ferociously pummeling riffs, the record is a solid showcase of the diversity and innovation currently on show in Ireland’s metal scene.

Ahead of their appearance at Cosmonaut Music’s birthday party next week, we caught up with the quartet to discuss H.P. Lovecraft, the Irish music scene, and gigs.

Overblown: Your debut EP is ‘Deus Incognitus’. What does that mean? What inspired the name? How does it fit your music?

Aponym: (Dave Longan) The title is Latin for “Unknown God”. The general concept of the EP was the themes of Lovecraftian horror and mankind’s relationship to nature. To me, the idea of nature as this sort of inconceivable, immensely powerful yet immeasurably subtle force in our lives is very interesting. I think it was also an aspect of why Lovecraft wrote what he wrote. There were so many aspects of life in the early 20th century that were simultaneously being explored and discovered, but still had an air of mystery about them. I thought this was nicely summarised in the idea of an unknown god, and translated it to Latin to make it sound a bit more interesting.

Overblown: The EP was mastered by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Oathbreaker, Jeff Rosenstock). Why did you pick him to master the record?

Aponym: (Dave Longan) Myself and David (O’Mahony) are big fans of Oathbreaker and especially their album Rheia. At the time we first found the album, we were discussing what we were going to do in terms of mixing and mastering. In the end, due to some technical limitations, such as the EP being recorded on Garageband, we decided to have it professionally mastered and I would mix it. I spent a while checking the credits of albums I liked and getting quotes from the mastering engineers on them. Jack has a really organic and natural sound to his work, he had experience with music we were inspired by for the EP, and he was affordable for a band at our stage.

Overblown: You have an upcoming gig at Cosmonaut’s Birthday Party. That should be an epic night. How did you get involved? How did you originality meet Cormac?

Aponym: (Christopher O’Sullivan) Yes that will certainly be an epic night, we cannot wait for that! We are ecstatic to be in the lineup for that alongside some brilliant bands! We were contacted by Cormac a few months ago about the Cosmonaut Birthday Party and we are delighted to be involved, I think it was David (O’Mahony) met Cormac first at a gig and then we made contact with him about possibly getting involved on a gig, Cormac had us support Hibagon during the summer in the Spailpín which was a great night and we have been involved in various gigs together over the past few months around Cork. We love working with Cormac and Cosmonaut Music and I’m delighted that there is someone like Cormac running gigs and working in the scene in Cork, the Birthday Party is a night not to be missed!

Overblown: Your track ‘Every Low Ambition’ features audio of Eddie Linehan from James Slattery’s “Tell Me A Story” (2008). Why did you include that clip?

Aponym: (David O’Mahony) I’m a big Linehan fan. At the time, me and Dave (Longan) were recording the song as a demo and I made some synths for the ending. Even though we are an instrumental band, I found our songs told stories and his quote stuck with me, how we take inspiration from landscape and people and there’s always something new. We like using clips from things and using something from an Irish background was nice.

Overblown: Another of your tracks is called ‘Life is A Wounded Stag’. I love that metaphor. Does it have anything to do with the book ‘The Wounded Stag’ by William Johnston? What does the metaphor mean to you?

Aponym: (Dave Longan) The idea came from a conversation I had with my brother. He hunts deer and he was talking about the criteria required that must be met in order to get a deer hunting license. At one point he said ‘If you don’t hit the deer in a particular spot, the f**cker will just run and run as fast as it can until it either passes out from exhaustion, dies or feels safe enough to stop.’ I know it’s graphic imagery, but I felt there was a similarity to life itself. It just goes, we have no control over how quickly it goes, where it’s going or when it stops. There’s just the sheer momentum of life itself moving it, pure animalistic energy. The song has a sort of structural momentum to it, hopping from one sort of sound to another and the metaphor just made sense to me.

Overblown: What Irish bands are you enjoying at the minute?

Aponym: (David O’Mahony) The Magnapinna, Shardborne and The Crawling for me.
(Dave Longan) Ilenkus, Post-Punk Podge and The Technohippies, ASIWYFA and Partholón.
(Cillian Plummer) Zhora and Soothsayer.
(Christopher O’Sullivan) ASIWYFA and God Alone.

Overblown: What does 2018 hold for Aponym?

Aponym: (Christopher O’Sullivan) 2017 was a great year for the band, it was our first full year together and had some great moments from Deus coming out to some of the amazing shows we got to play alongside some fantastic bands so in 2018 we hope to really build on that. We love to play so hopefully 2018 holds some more of that for us, we have some really cool things happening over the next few months, we’ll be taking part in the Mammothfest Battle of the Bands on April 14th and we have few other things that we can’t go into detail on just yet but we can definitely say there will be some great gigs happening this year!

I also have the drums recorded for the next release already so depending on how things go over the next while we may have a follow up to Deus Incognitus before the year is out and so far it is sounding really nice!

(Cillian Plummer) We’re also planning to start tracking guitars, bass and other bits over the coming weeks.

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